The AFCON poses a major problem for many Premiership clubs as they find themselves without their African stars. For West Ham the loss of Cheik Kouyate in particular is a major blow that is likely to greatly impact upon our fortunes during January.
Similarly, having finally recovered from a prolonged injury, Andre Ayew will be whisked off to play for his native Ghana - just when he seemed to be finding his form in the Hammers side.
However, in better news, both Kouyate and Ayew have been given permission to appear in today's crucial match at home to Man United.
In other news, Sofiane Feghouli has been left out of the Algerian squad and can thus focus upon revitalising his Hammers career. While our Summer signings have mostly failed to impress, Feghouli has been a more complicated case in that at times he has looked impressive but simply has not been able to achieve the necessary consistency.
The next few games will be a serious test for some of the players around the fringe of the first team - Obiang, Lanzini, Fernandes, Feghouli and Nordtveit will all be hoping to find some decent form.